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Teaching “Journalism as Process”: A Proposed Paradigm for J-School Curricula in the Digital Age

Sue Robinson

Abstract: An in-depth audience study in Madison, Wisconsin, revealed new conceptions of “news” that warrant a reconceptualization of journalism schools’ curricula. Using an experiential-learning model, this essay explores how the digital-era “journalism-as-process” considerations on the part of news audiences might be incorporated into journalism courses. The findings suggest that journalism educators must reformulate traditional news-product classroom work into something more interactive, amorphous, and process-oriented. In addition, teachers should begin helping students to “own” conversations generated in cyberspace.

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Adapting to ‘Post-Industrial’ Journalism

Vivian B. Martin

Like many tasks these days, the writing of this Editor’s Note got sidetracked due to some of the time I spent poking around the Internet, especially following projects like the continually surprising data visualizations on the London riots at the Guardian’s data hub or taking Google Fusion Tables tutorials. I spend way too much time just playing oldies on Youtube, too, but for purposes of this Editor’s Note I just want to point to the more purposeful procrastination I do.

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Book Review: Ed Kennedy’s War: V-E Day, Censorship, & the Associated Press

Ed Kennedy’s War: V-E Day, Censorship, & the Associated Press
By Ed Kennedy, with an introduction by Tom Curley and John Maxwell Hamilton
Edited by Julia Kennedy Cochran
Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, 2012
248 Pages

Journalism and mass communication students in America today have lived continuously in a country at war – a War on Terror, a war in Afghanistan, and a war in Iraq – but most do not truly understand the cost of those struggles. Neither do their parents. Americans are not fully engaged with these wars, in part because of the absence of daily, widespread reporting about them. Many journalists have bravely reported from these war zones, but the saturation coverage of previous wars, such as Vietnam and World War II, has not been sustained, even though the casualties continue. Albeit these are very different wars, but journalists have no greater obligation than to keep a free and open society informed about the military actions of their government.

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Back-Pocket Journalism: What an Experiment in “Mobile-Only” Newsgathering Taught My Students—and Me

Jill Van Wyke

Abstract: In a multimedia journalism class, students were challenged to go “mobile-only” for six weeks. The students, juniors and seniors in the magazine and news-Internet sequences, were armed with a smartphone or iPod Touch loaded with apps with which to do all their newsgathering. They used the devices to take notes; shoot and edit photos and video; gather and edit audio; upload content to the class news site; livestream, liveblog or tweet an event; interact with audience; and even monitor police scanner traffic. The six-week unit had only one rule: no pens and paper, no cameras or audio recorders other than those on the smartphone, no laptop or desktop computers, and no software that wasn’t available as an app. The goal was to test the limits and potential of the smartphone as a sole newsgathering device and to acquaint students with preparing content for mobile consumption. At the end of the unit, students showed significant growth in their technical and multimedia abilities and in their understanding of what the mobile devices could and couldn’t achieve. Students also reported higher levels of engagement, collaboration, risk-taking and urgency in their newsgathering. They also reported feeling better prepared for the demands of the profession.

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Using iPads and iPhones in Communication Classes

Cathy Yungmann

It is hard to remember when an iPad and an iPhone weren’t part of my digital life. Because I teach multimedia creation and video storytelling at Cabrini College, a mobile tool with camera recording, classroom-presentation and media-consumption capabilities seems like a must-use device.

One of my more interesting recent uses of iPad technology involved turning our Communication Department’s award-winning multimedia senior capstone project website into an ebook.

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Race in the Classroom: It’s Still Complicated

Jim Sernoe

“We were so racially divided back then.”

Pronounced by a white student in my Media Ethics class last fall, the reference was not to the 1960s/Civil Rights Era, nor to slavery before 1861, but to the mid-1990s. A discussion of Time magazine’s infamous darkening of O.J. Simpson’s mug shot shortly after his arrest in 1994 prompted her half-defense half-explanation.

The discussion started as an attempt to look at digital manipulation in news photography and whether it is an ethical practice. Numerous examples before the Simpson photo produced an interesting, thoughtful discussion, as had been the case all semester with this particular group of students. But when I pulled that photo out of my folder, the mood of the room changed.

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SYMPOSIUM INTRO: iPads and Tablets in the JMC Curriculum

Last year when I proposed SPIG run a bootcamp at the annual conference to address how we’re using iPads and tablets in the classroom, I wasn’t sure there would be more than five people sitting around a hotel meeting room in Chicago. But more than 20 people came, and alongside generous and stimulating presentations by Kenneth Pybus (Abilene Christian) and Ralph E. Hanson (University of Nebraska at Kearney), attendees exchanged tips and questions, proving that the conversation on tablets in the journalism and mass communication curriculum was just beginning.

Vivian B. Martin is an associate professor and directs the journalism program at Central Connecticut State University.

Please see these related supporting essays:
Reporting with the iPadJournos: Educating the Next Generation of Mobile and Social Media Journalists
by Marcus Messner
When iPad Meets J101: Can Video and Basic Newswriting Co-exist in the Classroom?
by Maureen E. Boyle
Using iPads and iPhones in Communication Classes
by Cathy Yungmann

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Reporting with the iPadJournos: Educating the Next Generation of Mobile and Social Media Journalists

Marcus Messner

Journalism students Nicolas Nightingale and Zachary Holden were conducting interviews for a story about daylight crimes at Virginia Commonwealth University when another news story unfolded before them on the urban campus in Richmond. A homeless man who allegedly tried to steal a purse from a university lab was chased and captured by several VCU students, who then formed a circle around him until police arrived. Nightingale pulled out his iPad, started shooting the man’s arrest by campus police and immediately tweeted about the breaking news story via the iPad’s Twitter app. As it turned out, the man was suspected of several campus larcenies and had an outstanding warrant. A TV producer noticed the students’ tweets and a few hours later the iPad arrest video made the evening news on the local CBS affiliate.

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When iPad Meets J101: Can Video and Basic Newswriting Co-exist in the Classroom?

Maureen E. Boyle

It was the second week of class and I was getting worried.

Students in JRN 101, one of the newswriting and reporting classes, would be using iPads to shoot video, tweet, and write short pieces in the field as part of a pilot program funded through the Stonehill College technology department. It would be a great experiment in mobile journalism, in which students would use this single, simple device to learn the basic skills local editors were calling for.

Or would it?

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When Catastrophe Strikes, News Media Turn… to Social Media?

Darren Sweeney

When snowflakes began flying on Oct. 29, 2011, in Connecticut, newsrooms heeded the warnings of the meteorologists: heavy, wet snow on still-leafy trees meant disaster. Nearly a foot of snow fell in some areas, and Connecticut faced one of the biggest disasters in history.

When damaged trees fell on utility wires, the state experienced the biggest blackout ever. More than 800,000 people were without power, and some were stuck in their houses for up to two weeks because of downed trees, wires and power poles.

I was working as a reporter/meteorologist for the NBC affiliate in Hartford, and this was going to be one of our biggest stories. Because of the massive blackout, few people could see our reports, however. Before this storm, using social media had been just another aspect of the job. After the storm, I was thankful, as were my managers, that I had built up a social network via Facebook and Twitter. This “electronic Rolodex” helped me cover the stories following the storm and my experience gave me some lessons to take back into the classroom.

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